Victims of youth crime will have greater access to restorative justice, thanks to a new grant available to youth offending teams (YOT).
The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB) will distribute around £2 million, to the 158 YOTs, across England and Wales, as part of a new Restorative Justice Development Grant.
Restorative justice is a process that brings together victims and offenders, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. This can include a face-to-face meeting, a community conference – involving several members of the affected community - or indirect communication, such as a written letter or a recorded video message.
The development grant will enable YOTs to provide restorative justice conference facilitation (RJCF) training for all staff and advanced training for those staff who have already received RJCF training. The advanced-level training, accredited by the Restorative Justice Council, will enable YOTs to provide RJ services to victims of more complex cases, such as violent offences, or where there has been significant trauma.
This latest funding builds on a recent two-year YJB grant which has already enabled more than 2,400 YOT staff and volunteers to complete RJCF training. This training, has ensured that young people, who are subject to Referral Orders, can be brought together with the victim in a managed process.
YJB Chief Executive Lin Hinnigan said:
This grant will enable more YOT staff to receive restorative justice training, including the advanced level training and thereby, increase the opportunities for victims to participate in safe and competent restorative justice activities.
Currently most restorative justice services are provided to victims of typically lower-level offences and where the young person has received a Referral Order.
Over the next two years, YOTs will be able to broaden the RJ services to include those cases involving more serious offences where the young person has got a community order, or a custodial sentence.
The grant, is part of a larger restorative justice announcement by the Ministry of Justice, which coincides with ‘International Restorative Justice Week’.
In addition to the advanced restorative justice training, YOTs will be expected to ensure YOT managers and senior YOT practitioners are trained to utilise restorative justice practices in the day-to-day running of YOTs, and enable any new volunteer restorative justice panel members to receive the RJCF training.
All 158 YOTs have been formally informed of their grant allocation, which will be issued in three parts over the next two years.
Notes to editors
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Published: 21 November 2013